- Title: File of Turkey-U.S.patrols in northern Syria as Washington announces pullback
- Date: 7th October 2019
- Summary: AKCAKALE, TURKEY (RECENT - SEPTEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TURKISH MILITARY VEHICLES DRIVING ACROSS BORDER INTO TEL ABYAD, SYRIA AND JOINING UP WITH U.S. MILITARY TEL ABYAD, SYRIA SEEN FROM AKCAKALE, TURKEY (RECENT - SEPTEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TURKISH AND U.S. MILITARY VEHICLES DRIVING AWAY VARIOUS OF HELICOPTERS FLYING OVER TURKISH-SYRIA BORDER AKCAKALE, TURKEY (RECENT - SEPTEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TURKISH MILITARY VEHICLES RETURNING FROM SYRIA, CROSS BORDER INTO TURKEY TEL ABYAD, SYRIA SEEN FROM AKCAKALE, TURKEY (RECENT - SEPTEMBER 8, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HELICOPTERS FLYING NEAR BORDER
- Embargoed: 21st October 2019 14:47
- Keywords: Syrian conflict war Euphrates eastern Syria Turkey-Syria border U.S. President Donal Trump withdrawal
- Location: AKCAKALE, TURKEY / TEL ABYAD, SYRIA SEEN FROM AKCAKALE, TURKEY / SAID TO BE MANBIJ, SYRIA
- City: AKCAKALE, TURKEY / TEL ABYAD, SYRIA SEEN FROM AKCAKALE, TURKEY / SAID TO BE MANBIJ, SYRIA
- Country: Various
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA001B03MDDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The United States said it was pulling troops back from northeast Syria, in a major shift which clears the way for a Turkish military offensive against Kurdish-led forces and hands Turkey responsibility for thousands of Islamic State captives.
A U.S. official said American troops had withdrawn from two observation posts on the border, at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain, and had told the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that the United States would not defend the SDF from an imminent Turkish offensive.
Turkey has long argued for the establishment of a 20-mile (32 km) "safe zone" along the border, under Turkish control, driving back the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - which is the dominant force in the SDF alliance and which Ankara considers a terrorist organisation and a threat to its national security.
The United States helped the YPG defeat Islamic State militants in Syria, and had been seeking a joint 'security mechanism' with Turkey along the border to meet Turkey's security needs without threatening the SDF.
As a way to address Turkish concerns, the United States started carrying out the joint patrols with Ankara east of the Euphrates river in September.
In 2018, the two powers began joint patrols to avert direct confrontation between Turkish and Kurdish YPG fighters on the west bank of the Euphrates along the dividing line between territory controlled by the SDF-allied Manbij Military Council and a Turkish-controlled area.
(Production: Bulent Usta, Kristian Brunse)
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